Noah Healy and his project kPlug for Treating Corneal Injuries won first place and $20,000 at the University of Iowa John Pappajohn Entrepreneurial Center (Iowa JPEC) Innovation Challenge Awards event Nov. 15 at MERGE in Iowa City, Iowa. A total of $74,000 was given in two divisions to support innovation across campus.
kPlug, which addresses the problem of corneal perforations, won the faculty/staff/graduate student/incubator startup division in the Best Technology category. Winning for Best Community Impact was Chris Ortman’s Healthy Minds, Healthy Hawks, a stress management and wellness program driven by the SMART mobile app. Ortman received $3,000.
First-place winners in the undergraduate competition were Patrick Foster with Courser in the Best Technology category and Tatum Johnson with Greenpocket Bags in the Best Non-Technology category. Foster and Johnson both received $5,000. Courser is an AI-powered Learning Management System and Greenpocket Bags creates portable reusable bags.
Sixty University of Iowa-related businesses applied for the Fall business model competition and 38 were selected as finalists to compete Nov. 13 (undergraduate) and Nov. 14 (faculty, staff, graduate students, incubator startup).
Iowa JPEC is the hub for entrepreneurial education and outreach at the University of Iowa. It is committed to helping students, faculty, staff, and community members launch and grow businesses.
Graduate/Faculty/Staff/Incubator Startup Awards
|First||kPlug for Treating Corneal Injuries||Noah Healy||$20,000|
|Second||SAILS||Muhammad Taifur Rahman||$12,000|
|Third||Halide Biologics||Daniel Infield||$8,000|
|Best Community Impact|
|First||Healthy Minds, Healthy Hawks||Chris Ortman||$3,000|
|Second||Practical Dental Solutions||Rob Bowers||$2,000|
|Third||Small Mall Vending||Jayne Meacham||$1,000|
|Best Pitch||Tura Lura Co.||Erika Christiansen||$2,000|
|Judges' Choice||Earthmind||Fred Meyer||$2,000|
|Third||Aurora Sleep Watch||Benjamin Hanks||$1,500|
|First||Greenpocket Bags||Tatum Johnson||$5,000|
|Second||Face Totes by Olivia Miller||Olivia Miller||$3,000|
|Third||Heartland Pictures LLC||Will Schwarz||$1,500|
|Best Pitch||Wise Dweller Productions||Ashley Cimarolli||$1,500|
|Best Social Impact||Blue Heron||Tessa Petersen||$1,500|
|Judges' Choice||Seat Stock||Brady Stein||$1,000|
|Judges' Choice||Purrrfect Cup||Sammi deNeui||$1,000|